STEPHEN Quinn perfectly reflects the general theme of enthusiasm and hunger surrounding the Ireland squad at the moment. He’s put the FA Cup behind him and is good to go again.
“Yeah, just about,” he said with a wry smile.”It was a great season anyway. There is no shame in getting beaten by Arsenal.”
“But it’s a bit gutting going two goals up but losing it in extra time, it’s heart-breaking really. Overall, it’s been a good season for us so we can’t really complain.”
The small margin between glory and disaster was never better illustrated by Quinn’s Cup final experience.
“At 2-0 I was thinking, Blow it up! Blow it up! Call it off now and we could lift the trophy. You know being that close, for the rest of your life, you’d be thinking we were the nearly men against Arsenal.”
“But I think we put on a good spectacle. We didn’t make a show of ourselves. But the most important thing is that we stayed in the Premier League. That was the real aim of the season for us.”
His next target is to impress Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane and develop a late-flowering senior international career.
“I never got a look in under Trapattoni. I just got in towards the end of his reign. Now it’s under new management and I’m looking forward to it,” said Quinn.
Hull’s FA Cup run means that Steve Bruce’s Irish contingent have kept fitness levels high and Quinn is not ready for the beach yet.
“We can’t take our foot off the gas. As the manager and Roy touched on, training is not lackadaisical, it’s not end of season stuff,” he said.
“Lads are still on it because they’re vying for places in the qualifiers.
“You’ve got to show your qualities. You can’t rest on your laurels. Get some minutes and take your opportunity.”